Blog Entry

Sabres need to get sharper

Posted on: October 14, 2010 2:00 pm
 
The Buffalo Sabres are making a big deal over Friday night’s home game against Montreal because they will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first NHL game in the city. Coincidentally, the Canadiens were the opponent back in 1970 as well, so there will be a nice little added touch to the festivities.

Thing is the date the Sabres really seem to be focusing on will come a day later when they travel to Chicago to meet the Blackhawks.  As it happens, that will be just in time for Niklas Hjalmarsson to return from his two-game suspension, the one the Chicago defenseman got for blindsiding Buffalo’s Jason Pominville earlier this week.

Pominville left on a stretcher and ended up with a concussion, while Hjalmarsson, who had no ‘priors’ in terms of disciplinary actions, was forced to sit by the league. Hjalmarsson apologized for what he described as an unfortunate rather than a malicious play, and several national talking heads defended him too, saying that Pominville left himself too vulnerable.

Of course the opinion was not shared by several Sabres, who have argued that the punishment did not suffice for the type of crime. And one Buffalo player, forward Patrick Kaleta, even suggested some retribution might be in order

“We'll make a point that you can't be taking hits like that against one of our leaders and one of the better players on our team,” he said.

Those are fighting words, but you can expect cooler heads to prevail by the time the teams hit the ice. For one thing, the league gets a little antsy when threats are made or implied by players, and having their spotlight shining down tends to keep players from acting out. But more important, the Sabres have bigger issues to deal with as they proved by losing 1-0 to New Jersey on Wednesday night.

It was the Sabres third loss in a row – all of them at home – and it might have been the most troubling one yet because it was against a team that came in winless, undermanned and in apparent confusion. Instead, the Sabres were the ones in disarray, going nearly 17 minutes before getting their only shot of the first period.

New Jersey had 15 shots by the way in what was an inspired first period that set the tone for the night. The Devils beat Buffalo to pucks, won battles along the boards and even outhit the Sabres 19-5. In fact the Devils probably would have won this game earlier than in overtime had Sabres goalie Ryan Miller not been at the top of his game.

Problem for Buffalo is that Miller the only one there these days and that has to be a big concern for a team that figures to be in tough to make the playoffs this time around. The Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said as much afterward when he suggested his players might have started the new campaign feeling a little too good about themselves, although you have to wonder why.

Granted Buffalo had a good pre-season schedule and won on opening night in Ottawa, but the reality is that they were actually a disappointment last season and didn’t do anything to upgrade their lineup over the summer. That the organization seems convinced this team can do the job is to be expected, but it conveniently overlooks that Buffalo lasted only six games in its first playoff round in three years. And that was after winning the Northeast Division handily.

A great 8-1-1 start helped that effort along. So did very a good at home last season, something Ruff says is critical to repeat in this one.

"I want this to be a real tough building to play in," he said.

Maybe they’ll need to invite the Blackhawks to visit more often.
Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Nov 18, 2009
Posted on: November 30, 2010 9:54 pm
 

Sabres need to get sharper

You are a total fucking douche bag dude...what is a saber....?  Fucking Jerk.



Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2010 1:04 am
 

Sabres need to get sharper

Nice  from  a  guy  who  doesn't  say  who  he  roots  for ." Just  fold  up  shop  and  move  to  the  team  to a real  sports  city . " Like  where  ? Maybe  you  didn't  see  the  game , but  he  was  blind sided  and  he  didn't  even  have  the  puck .  But , because  it's  you , he  should  jump  up  and  still  play , even  though  he  has  a  concussion , right  StreetRat ? This  is  why  his  league  can  up  with  this  rule . But , there  are  people  like you  who  don't  understand  that  one . This is why  we  lost  too  many   players  with  this  type  of  play . I think it's  you  who  should  move  to  a  sport  that  let's  it's  players  play  like  that . And  I  for  one  would  thank  you  for  it .


Actually, I never said he should get up and play.  Never even said Hjal shouldn't be suspended.  Just that I'm tired of hearing Saber fans and players demand harsher punishment when they defend their own guys INCLUDING KALETA after he runs guys from behind.  Same as McArthur last year.  They claim it's just an accident but when one of their own gets hurt, they want the other player strung up.  It's two faced.


And if you click on my name you are taken to my profile where it shows who I cheer for.  Chcago.  Same way I can tell you are a Leaf fan. 


Congrats on teh great start for the Leafs by the way



Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2010 12:59 am
 

Sabres need to get sharper

The Kaleta has never thrown a blindside check.  His hits are hard (when he connects) and clean. He's probably the cleanest checking player in the league.  The hit in question was an inadvertent dirty, rotten hit.  I hope The Kaleta launches Toews into next week tonight.



You do realize we are talking about the same Kaleta that was suspended last year for a hit on Jared Ross, directly from behind...

Never thrown a blind side hit???  One of the cleanest in the leage????    Do you even watch hockey?



Since: Oct 17, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2010 8:31 am
 

Sabres need to get sharper

I have questioned Mr. Goldstein's position on several articles that he has written. I decided to read his bio. After reading this it became evident he has absoltely no sports basis in which to form his opinions on hockey. Bio below:

Wes Goldstein started following hockey in the days when the NHL had only six teams, spending countless hours watching and listening to games because he couldn't skate well enough to actually play.

If you think that was tough for someone who was born and raised in Montreal, try passionately supporting a team that wasn't from that city. (Which one is none of your business).

Goldstein earned his journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa and then spent the next dozen years as a reporter, editor and publisher with various publications in his home and college towns, covering everything from business to politics to the courts. He even managed to report from a war zone, corresponding for a six-week period from Lebanon during the war in 1982.

It was there he realized getting shot at wasn't the greatest way to make a living, so he returned home and landed a dream job covering the Montreal Expos (remember them?) in the summer and the Canadiens and Quebec Nordiques in the winter.

That eventually led him to join CBSSports.com in 1999. Goldstein lives with his wife and daughter in South Florida and, after moving here, actually learned how to skate, albeit on rollerblades.





Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 6:29 pm
 

Sabres need to get sharper

No , I  don't  think  that  they  should  even  the  score  on  Pommer , not  right  now . Maybe  a  like  later  on  the  season , of  we  play  them  again . If  not , then , maybe  the  Sabres  should  buck  up  and  take  out  one  of  they're  stars  , like  the  Swede  Meatball  did . The  league  gave  him   nothing , they  gave  Wiz  of  the  Desert  Dogs  two  games  for  giving  Avermy the  finger . Taking  out  a  player  for  about  two  weeks  is  the  same  thing ? Come  on ! Give  your  heads  a  shake . People , this  is  hockey , not  football . GET  THAT  STRAIGHT .  You  have  to  have  the  puck , even  before  you  can  hit  him , and  getb off  the " it's  a  hitters  geuss " , he  have  to  have  the  puck  FIRST ! That's  a  rule  that's  been  in  play  for  years . But , there  are  players  who  think  that , " he  might  get  the  puck " , well , that's  a  crock  of  you  know  what .



Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 6:20 pm
 

Sabres need to get sharper

The Kaleta has never thrown a blindside check.  His hits are hard (when he connects) and clean. He's probably the cleanest checking player in the league.  The hit in question was an inadvertent dirty, rotten hit.  I hope The Kaleta launches Toews into next week tonight.




Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 6:07 pm
 

Sabres need to get sharper

Nice  from  a  guy  who  doesn't  say  who  he  roots  for ." Just  fold  up  shop  and  move  to  the  team  to a real  sports  city . " Like  where  ? Maybe  you  didn't  see  the  game , but  he  was  blind sided  and  he  didn't  even  have  the  puck .  But , because  it's  you , he  should  jump  up  and  still  play , even  though  he  has  a  concussion , right  StreetRat ? This  is  why  his  league  can  up  with  this  rule . But , there  are  people  like you  who  don't  understand  that  one . This is why  we  lost  too  many   players  with  this  type  of  play . I think it's  you  who  should  move  to  a  sport  that  let's  it's  players  play  like  that . And  I  for  one  would  thank  you  for  it .



Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: October 16, 2010 4:46 pm
 

Sabres need to get sharper

Nice to see the Habs hand these clowns another loss.  Does any team and fanbase whine as much when a player gets hurt?  And then the team, coaches, announcers and fans defend the Saber players when they run a guy from behind.

Big sense of entitlement from an organization that has never accomplished anything.  Just fold up shop and move the team to a real sports city.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 3:46 pm
 

Sabres need to get sharper

What a fucking terrible story.



Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 2:25 pm
 

Sabres need to get sharper

All that said, Wes is right.  Sabres need to worry about putting the puck in the net, not old scores.

As if they have the muscle to back anything up anyway.

For the record, I think it was an illegal hit, but not a dirty hit, if you catch my meaning.  I think he expected Pominville to have the puck at that point.

People are using football analogies here; I think the best one is pass interference when the DB hits the receiver before the ball gets there. It's a judgment call and a timing issue on the defender's part. 

This team cam out on both the home opener and the 40th Anniversary games as flat as a pancake.  They had a 2-0 lead on Chicago, and then decided to take two periods off.

Miller and Myrs can't carry the team alone.  People need to remember that Myers is still only 20, and has a new defensemate.  He worked with Tallinder the entire year last year, and he's got a bullseye on his back after winning the Calder. 

Derek Roy is bringing his A game.  Why is he the only one who got the memo?  If things don't improve, it's time to move either a few "sacred cows" on this team, or maybe Ruff has just finally run out his string, and can't motivae these guys anymore.


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